The bout between Cory Sandhagen and Rob Font highlights this Saturday’s UFC Nashville event. These two guys are one of the most attractive bantamweights and, as such, draw solid attention. Sandhagen was originally supposed to fight Umar Nurmagomedov, but the Russian fighter decided to pull out due to his shoulder injury, and Font jumped in on short notice. These two occupy No.4 and No.7 in the division, and this bout is extremely significant for their future.
Cory Sandhagen (16-4, -270) has back-to-back wins before this event. He defeated Song Yadong via fourth-round doctor stoppage, and after that, posted a split decision win over Marlon Vera in March this season.
Prior to these two events, he lost twice in a row, to TJ Dillashaw via split decision and Petr Yan in a title fight in October 2021. The loss to Dillashaw was highly controversial, while the defeat against Yan was clear.
He’s an extremely dangerous fighter, who knows to hit from all sorts of angles and positions, and we’ve already seen Sandhagen delivering some highlight-reel KOs, like against Frankie Edgar, whom he knocked out with a flying knee. The American has wins over Marlon Moraes, Raphael Assuncao, John Lineker etc, while one notable loss came to Aljamain Sterling.
Rob Font (20-6, +240) is another veteran who has been in the division for a long time, though, without a chance to fight for the title. The 36-year-old has been among the top ten bantamweights for some time, but he simply couldn’t take that one step to lead him to the title battle.
After losing via decision to Jose Aldo and Marlon Vera, Font bounced back with a ruthless KO against Adrian Yanez, whom he smashed already in the first round. Prior to the losses, Font had four wins in a row, over Sergio Pettis, Ricky Simon, Marlon Moraes, and Cody Garbrandt.
He is a technical striker whose output of punches is very high. Font’s chin is very tough, and he was never knocked out, having one loss finish via submission against Pedro Munhoz back in 2017. The durability of the veteran was never questioned, which is one of his biggest virtues. His long reach helps him a lot in keeping the rivals at a distance, while his grappling isn’t that good on the other side. Only one submission since coming to the UFC proves that.
Sandhagen is taller and has a bigger frame than Font, but surprisingly his reach is two inches shorter than Font’s. Both these guys are solid punchers and know their way in stand up, but what separates them is grappling, as Sandhagen has more knowledge in that area. If he takes down Font, the Sandman will have an advantage. It is the only reason we pick Sandhagen to win, as fighters look similar in other aspects of the battle. The odds on Cory are -270, and it is always like that when one rival accepts the fight on short notice. Though, sometimes that might be problematic for the favorite because of preparations for one style and facing a completely different one.
Pick: Sandhagen wins -270
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.